Over the sixty years since King Adalbarm and his most trusted aids founded the township of Gravelhome, life had steadily improved; no longer was mere existence a daily struggle. The fields grew and were bountiful, mines produced treasures with every swing, dangerous creatures had learned to stay away, and the growing population flourished under the benevolence and good cheer of their ruler. The dwarven city extended deep under Mount Faldheft, carved into the very rock by its founders, dedicated to their gods in the old ways of dwarves.

King Adalbarm was holding council with his closest advisors, encouraging his young son to participate and learn the ins and outs of governorship, when Chief Geologist Garm entered the royal chamber, unannounced. “My lord,” he saluted, “a discovery has been made.”

Staring at the rough-hewn walls of the mine, the King and his advisors filled the mine-shaft, having followed the Geologist into the deepest halls of the settlement. “Here, sire, you see the problem. We didn’t carve these.”

Reverent and wily eyes followed the flickering candlelight, illuminating worked stone in the floor, uncovered by eager miners. “This masonry isn’t from here – it was placed, intentionally, and it forms a barrier all through this section, just beneath our feet.” After letting his words sink in, he cocked an eyebrow. “And it’s hollow beneath, maybe only two feet down.”

“Prepare a team,” the king commanded, his voice firm in the echoing hallways. “Only the gods know what riches we will unearth from below.”